The Man in the Needlecord Jacket follows the story of two women who are each struggling to let go of a long-term destructive partnership. Felicity is reluctant to detach from her estranged archaeologist husband and, after being banished from the family home, she sets out to test the stability of his relationship with his new love, Marianne.
When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.
The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is a thought-provoking book, written from the perspectives of Sarah and Felicity. The reader is in the privileged position of knowing what’s going on for both of the women, while each of them is being kept in the dark about a very important issue.
Inspired by the work of Margaret Atwood and Fay Weldon, Linda explores the issue of mental abuse in partnerships and the grey area of an infidelity that is emotional, not physical. The book will appeal to readers interested in the psychology of relationships, as well as fans of Linda’s ‘Lydia’ series.
My background in the field of Psychology seems to always pull me towards books that stir up that part of my life. Linda MacDonald has no short of themes from the mental health spectrum woven throughout her novel to challenge your perspectives on human behavior which include: emotional abuse, narcissistic personality, destructive relationships and infidelity via an emotional affair rather than the typical physical aspect. She did a fantastic job of pulling into the light those aspects of human behavior most want kept in the darkness so you are forced to confront your own attitudes on the subjects or even wonder if you aren’t mimicking some of her characters behaviors in your own life???
I liked that you are treated to an intense look into the lives and psychological viewpoints from two very different women throughout this storyline. MacDonald really fleshed out her characters in order to make her point and it was obvious she spent some time understanding the subjects she planned to use as plot devices so you felt grounded in reality. That also caused its own share of problems as you will find your own emotions challenged thanks to her vivid writing.
People who like to have their brains challenged while reading a good fictional story or are interested in a thought provoking examination of dysfunctional relationships will be pulled towards as it digs into your psyche and hooks you to the end.
Thank you to Netgalley and Troubador Publishing Limited for allowing me to review this book.
*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com
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